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cyberdad
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07 Feb 2020, 8:29 pm

QFT wrote:
Actually with my mom its more complicated than that. What made him want to do it is that he was friends with literature teacher, and my mom did really well in literature class. But still, the fact that my mom "tried hard" has contributted.

Yet in my case you are saying the opposite: that trying hard would make it worse. Thats where its unfair.

Now lets put side by side two people. One person organically understands the other people, the other person doesn't. I would give the person that doesn't organically understands other people a lot more credit for whatever they offer, since it means that they CARE about others SO MUCH that DESPITE not understanding it they are doing all that hard work to help them.
Here is a proof thats not what it is:

a) That Chinese girl whom I complained about officemate suggested that I help her with her studies. I told her I wouldn't do it because I don't want to be used as a tool, I want genuine friendship.

b) That black student I mentioned a couple of posts above approached me in the middle of the campus (when i was having a conversation with someone at a Christian table), interrupted my conversation to ask me whether I was just "taking that class for a review" (which I am not: I never took it before) and whether I do study groups (which I don't want to do). I didn't outright say no, but I kind of backed out of it because it felt like he thought I am just someone to be used.

Now, when I was talking about being hard-working, I was making an analogy to allude to something emotional. The emotional thing I was alluding to is caring about other people. If someone is socially awkward, yet does all this work to connect, that means that person TRULY cares, as evident by all this hard work in overcoming all those obstacles. Just like someone bad at math still trying to learn math truly cares about math, in the same way someone bad at people doing all this hard work to learn people must truly care about people. Do you see the analogy?


I was going to answer these separately but my point will address all of these. NTs are capable of reading people without caring. In other words having emotional intelligence does not require they have to care about the other person. For example - professional counsellors attempt to be accurately empathetic which is a skill where they actively listen and demonstrate sincerity by head nodding and paying attention. The client perceives there is a relationship and feels comfortable enough to open up. The reality is the counsellor must maintain objective distance and avoid having personal feelings. Yet they are capable of spending hours talking and many of these "therapeutic" relationships last many years.

NTs likewise don't invest heavily on the "caring:" aspect of the multiple friendships they maintain. Their primary goal is to make a connection and to do that they must carefully read the person/persons they are interacting with whether they are in a group or one on one.

On the issue of your associates asking help from you or interrupting you, don't forget that NTs are the masters of dissonance. They can behave one way to people they have a vested interest in and another way to people they don't. Principles are often fluid. So both the CHinese girl and the black guy might not make demands or interrupt other people whom they have an investment or long term relationship with but they feel they can do this with you because they don't value you in the same way.

This is not about you BTW, it's the reality of the NT world. Infact some of the worst examples of NT dissonance I have witnessed was in church. People espousing christian virtues in their actions and glorifying the work/piety of saints but then behaving in a manipulative and uncaring manner with people they don't care about.

I think the key thing you are missing here is fluidity. There is no good/bad or black and white when it comes to human interaction. For example you are hesitant or reluctant to approach this group because you are not invited. While I would (personally) leave these people alone, since you are keen to gain acceptance then I would just wipe the slate clean (so the speak) and just approach them again but this time stand around and smile and listen. Watch and observe, Pretend like nothing happened. This is exactly what NTs do.



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08 Feb 2020, 1:07 pm

cyberdad wrote:
I was going to answer these separately but my point will address all of these. NTs are capable of reading people without caring. In other words having emotional intelligence does not require they have to care about the other person.


But remember how you said, just a few replies earlier, that if I am socially awkward they would take my attempts to fit in as "fake". Well, what you wrote just now implies that *they* are the ones being fake. So why would they reject me for fakeness if they are more fake than I am?

cyberdad wrote:
For example - professional counsellors attempt to be accurately empathetic which is a skill where they actively listen and demonstrate sincerity by head nodding and paying attention. The client perceives there is a relationship and feels comfortable enough to open up. The reality is the counsellor must maintain objective distance and avoid having personal feelings. Yet they are capable of spending hours talking and many of these "therapeutic" relationships last many years.


Actually that is one reason why when someone tells me to seek counseling instead of relationships I take it as a brush off. The counseling doesn't provide the real emotional connection that I need.

The reason I go to counseling is that nobody else would listen to my issues. But if they did, I would choose a real life person over the counselor any day.

cyberdad wrote:
On the issue of your associates asking help from you or interrupting you, don't forget that NTs are the masters of dissonance. They can behave one way to people they have a vested interest in and another way to people they don't.


This leads to the following tangential question. No, this argument didn't happen with that girl (since I don't talk to her on the first place) but it happened on dating sites multiple times. And it went as follows. So I would talk to a girl on a dating site and -- between her being too available and ranking low on my criteria -- I would more or less take her for granted. So, for example, I might start talking to her about my ex-s, or I might fall into some of my other bad habbits. At first she is super patient and even supportive, so it confirms that I can keep doing what I am doing. But then a surprise moment comes: she says she is no longer interested. So then I start telling her how I can change and how I only acted that way because I misread her reaction but now that I know better I won't do it, etc. But she isn't buying any of it.

Now here is the question. You said that NTs change faces in different situations. But then why don't those girls believe me when I tell them I do the same? I mean that's the key thing I am trying to tell them: that I am not some robot who always does what they see me doing but rather I did it on a context of one pattern of interaction and now I can do different in different context. So if NTs do that too, why don't they believe me?

cyberdad wrote:
but they feel they can do this with you because they don't value you in the same way.


The word "value" is the key to my frustration. Not being valued invalidates me as a person. So when I feel a character assassination I am desperate to "undo" it -- hence my obsession with that girl and other people.

cyberdad wrote:
For example you are hesitant or reluctant to approach this group because you are not invited. While I would (personally) leave these people alone, since you are keen to gain acceptance then I would just wipe the slate clean (so the speak) and just approach them again but this time stand around and smile and listen. Watch and observe, Pretend like nothing happened. This is exactly what NTs do.


If you are thinking of "a group of three", this is not the case. They talked to more people than just those three. It's just that the older lady and the black guy striked me as the most surprising ones. But there were more.

As far as whether it was a group or just the whole class I have no idea since I don't recognize most of them.

And, by the way, I "did" approach that older lady a couple of weeks ago, but in a bad way. I basically asked her if she was a student and how come I never seen her before. As it turns out she is a second year student and since I am the fourth year it "is" surprising I never seen her. I guess I don't spend that much time in a department and I tend to study in the restaurants.

During that specific conversation that lady looked really weird at me, I think she was weirded out by my question. Then I backed off and she became a bit more at ease. Then I cut the conversation short when my officemate walked into the classroom.

So that was two weeks ago. But then Wednesday this week she said "good morning" when she was passing by my desk. I didn't know whether she was looking at me or not since I was looking at the book. But I couldn't have expected her to say it to me since she didn't do it before, so I suspected she was saying it to others and she simply happened to be passing by my desk at the time, that's why I didn't reply. Then she said it the second tome -- and she was still near my desk. She didn't stop walking by the way so I am not sure why she was by my desk both times. I again didn't reply but then a second later my officemate did, and then they striked a really lively conversation that lasted for the next five or even ten minutes. At some point during that conversation that black guy came and they included him as well -- my officemate complimented the black guy on the book he was reading. And I believe they talked to a few other folks too, but not to me.

Then this Friday (yesterday) I came in, and that older lady was looking at me. I was really hoping she would say hello so I could respond to her this time, but she didn't. Now, i walked through the door and was walking along the right way to the front, she was sitting the third seat from the right wall. Normally I wouldn't sit next to someone if there are lots of empty seats. But this time a) she was looking at me b) I normally sit on one of those two spots anyway. So that sort of justified my sitting next to her, but I wasn't that sure. So after some hesitation I chose to sit next to the wall (that is, a seat away from her) but then two minutes later I regretted it and decided to sit next to her. So I told myself that if she sees me switching seats she would justify it by the fact that it's hard to see the board if I sit next to the wall. So anyway I moved a seat away from the wall -- which means I was now seating next to her -- but no, she didn't start a conversation with me.

As far as black guy goes, he knew I wouldn't recognize him since he told me he was on my class when he approached me on the street. I don't remember exactly what was said. But from what I remember I suspected that he wanted me to do homework for him, but he didn't phrased it in that way but instead he used the word "study groups" so I deterred it by telling him I don't "organize" study groups. What I really wanted to say is that I don't want to "join" his group either but -- in order not to be rude -- I phrase it as in saying I don't have my own study group hoping he would back off. Also, on response to the question if I want to do the homework together, I didn't outright say no but I indicated I feel uncomfortable due to the line between doing my own work and copyong it from someone being so uncertain. Then he said that he does his work before and then comes to just compare it, then I was slightly more agreable but I didn't say yes. Then he changed the story and said they mostly intend to just study for exams together since exams weigh a lot more than homework. Then I said studying for exams sounds good (which it is!) So he got my email and emailed me right away to make sure I have his email. Then when I checked it few hours later he mentioned that -- apart from studying for exams for that course they also study for qualifying exams for the department -- so I replied to him that I passed my qualifying. The reason I still take that class (which is unusual for someone who have passed the qualifying exams) is that some faculty members insinuated they didn't like that I didn't take it before so I wanted to make up for it. He didn't write back.

In any case, I wouldn't recognize any of the three people mentioned (neither my officemate nor the older lady nor the black guy) outside of my office and classroom. I do recognize them at the office and the classroom -- by method of exclusion pretty much. Nevertheless if I were to meet one of my professors I *would* recognize them -- no matter where it's at -- and I also recognize few of the *other* students (not too many though). So I am not completely face bling. It's just takes time for me to learn faces.



cyberdad
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08 Feb 2020, 5:43 pm

1. I am socially awkward they would take my attempts to fit in as "fake". Well, what you wrote just now implies that *they* are the ones being fake. So why would they reject me for fakeness if they are more fake than I am?

2. I would more or less take her for granted. So, for example, I might start talking to her about my ex-s, or I might fall into some of my other bad habits.

3. Now here is the question. You said that NTs change faces in different situations. But then why don't those girls believe me when I tell them I do the same? I mean that's the key thing I am trying to tell them:

4. During that specific conversation that lady looked really weird at me, I think she was weirded out by my question. Then I backed off and she became a bit more at ease.

5. So anyway I moved a seat away from the wall -- which means I was now seating next to her -- but no, she didn't start a conversation with me.

6. So I am not completely face bling. It's just takes time for me to learn faces.


I have selected 6 points that you can focus on my responses to each next.

1. - It's not a competition. it's about authenticity. Have you ever played poker? the name of the game is to keep your true feelings to yourself. There's a comedian who plays a skit where everyone says what's exactly on their mind and it's hilarious how rude each person sounds. In your case your fellow researchers are probably faking it but they are comfortable with each other and what they choose to reveal both in words and body language.
How you come across in this context must not be fitting in with their "rules of the game", this underlines what I said to sit and observe these people, watch their body language carefully and how it synchronises with their words.

2. Review all your bad habits. Think about you can control or reduce them when interacting with people. A couple of things that strike me as not productive are your relative ranking of prospective girl friends and comparing them with your "ideal". Girls definitely do not like being a consolation prize.

3. Please refer to my response 1. I am thinking you are not as adept in this skill as you may believe.

4. Ask yourself why this older lady would be weirded out by what you said? it sounded like you were interrogating her.

5. So this is the crux of the issue, "why doesn't this group start a conversation with me?" and the answer is that they don't find speaking with you comfortable or stimulating relative to other options. It's not so much that they dislike you, they perhaps find your awkwardness difficult and perhaps they lack the patience to sit with you and don't want to be rude by trying to correct you (in NT society it's considered rude to tell people they are weird and you have to pick up the cues yourself). Kids tend to do this in primary school but by highschool they develop a filter (except of course bullies who use differences to attack other kids).

6. It gets back to how patient your associates are with your delay in processing social interaction. My guess is they are typical NTs and prefer to politely ignore you rather than interact. The latter is just hard work and awkward. I guess this is a universal experience for people on the spectrum and often the primary reason I read why they don't have a lot of friends or are ignored by their peers or weird people out or get betrayed by NT people they trusted because they didn't pick up the signs that things weren't going well.

You are a scientist/mathematician/researcher so use your skills to study people. Human beings of the NT persuasion are predictable. I often think Jane Goodall's approach with chimpanzees is not a bad way to go. She studied their behaviour over years before being brave enough to enter their troupe and touch them.

You need to be patient, don't be impulsive. These things take time.



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09 Feb 2020, 6:48 pm

cyberdad wrote:
1. I am socially awkward they would take my attempts to fit in as "fake". Well, what you wrote just now implies that *they* are the ones being fake. So why would they reject me for fakeness if they are more fake than I am?

1. - It's not a competition. it's about authenticity. Have you ever played poker? the name of the game is to keep your true feelings to yourself. There's a comedian who plays a skit where everyone says what's exactly on their mind and it's hilarious how rude each person sounds. In your case your fellow researchers are probably faking it but they are comfortable with each other and what they choose to reveal both in words and body language.
How you come across in this context must not be fitting in with their "rules of the game", this underlines what I said to sit and observe these people, watch their body language carefully and how it synchronises with their words.


I know its not a competition. But if you are saying they reject me for the fact that I am not authentic -- only to tell me that they are not authentic themselves -- then it makes no sense.

In fact, even if you re-read the above paragraph that you wrote. In the first sentence you said "its about authenticity". And then you went on to say that its like a game of poker where they don't show their true feelings. To me it sounds like you are contradicting yourself, since the way I define the word "authenticity" is TO show your true feelings. Or are you defining that word differently than I do?

cyberdad wrote:
2. I would more or less take her for granted. So, for example, I might start talking to her about my ex-s, or I might fall into some of my other bad habits.

2. Review all your bad habits. Think about you can control or reduce them when interacting with people. A couple of things that strike me as not productive are your relative ranking of prospective girl friends and comparing them with your "ideal". Girls definitely do not like being a consolation prize.


Let me clarify the context in which I wrote it. So you mentioned that the reason black guy felt it was fine to interrupt me is that he perceived me as low value -- and he wouldn't interrupt other people whom he valued higher. So I pointed out to you that I am doing something similar -- except that I do it with the girls. The point I was trying to make is that if what I do is similar to what NTs are doing (as exemplified by my pattern being similar to black guy) why aren't people getting it?

In case of the black guy, they wouldn't conclude that he interrupts everyone; rather they would conclude that he interrupts specifically me. In the same way, when I am acting a certain way towards the girls, it does not mean I would always act that way; rather I act that way in that specific context. See the parallel? But, instead of assuming I act that way within specific context, the girls are assuming I always act that way. So why do they assume it if NTs change from context to context all the time so they should be familiar with that concept?

As far as your comment about consolation price, here is what happens. I would first view the girls I am talking to as a consolation prize. Then when they reject me then I realize that I mis-evaluated her and their value in my mind goes up. And, in fact, I spend more time obsessing about them than I was obsessing about girls whom I "used to think" were "better" than her prior to her rejection -- which confirms that her value just went up in my mind. The point I am trying to make is that it shows that my mind is fluid since I just re-assessed her value based on her rejeciton of me. And this is something NTs do too -- I read on the internet they do that (so they were giving dating advice to withdraw in order for your dating interest to value you more). So, this being the case, why don't those girls see that what I do is similar to what those NTs are doing.

(I wasn't talking about the officemate by the way; like I mentioned earlier I want to date either mathematician or a physicist, so the value of my officemate would have been really high if only she was interested in me; I am rather talking about the girls on the dating site and in a lot of those cases we don't have a lot in common)

cyberdad wrote:
3. Now here is the question. You said that NTs change faces in different situations. But then why don't those girls believe me when I tell them I do the same? I mean that's the key thing I am trying to tell them:

3. Please refer to my response 1. I am thinking you are not as adept in this skill as you may believe.


In my response to 2, I have shown you by examples where my mind changes from situation to situation.

I guess I do see a counter-point: namely, the whole "pattern" of my "first" taking someone for granted, then waiting till they reject me and "afterwords" obsessing about them stays the same. But then the same is true for NT-s too: like in case of that black student I might say that he has "the same pattern" that he acts respectfully towards people he is of high opinion and disrespectfully to people he is of low opinion. But at the same time -- both me and that black guy -- change our behavior from one "specific" situation to the next.

cyberdad wrote:
4. During that specific conversation that lady looked really weird at me, I think she was weirded out by my question. Then I backed off and she became a bit more at ease.

4. Ask yourself why this older lady would be weirded out by what you said? it sounded like you were interrogating her.


Yeah, that was my take on it as well. I just described what has happened in order to get an advice as to where to go from here.

cyberdad wrote:
5. So anyway I moved a seat away from the wall -- which means I was now seating next to her -- but no, she didn't start a conversation with me.

5. So this is the crux of the issue, "why doesn't this group start a conversation with me?" and the answer is that they don't find speaking with you comfortable or stimulating relative to other options. It's not so much that they dislike you, they perhaps find your awkwardness difficult and perhaps they lack the patience to sit with you and don't want to be rude by trying to correct you (in NT society it's considered rude to tell people they are weird and you have to pick up the cues yourself). Kids tend to do this in primary school but by highschool they develop a filter (except of course bullies who use differences to attack other kids).


So what I read between the lines in what you wrote is that there is a "package deal": either interact with me and correct my behavior, or stop interracting with me and then they don't have to correct my behavior. In fact I have several examples that confirm this:

a) I remember my officemate two years ago (who is not my officemate any more) alluded to the same thing. He said that part of the reason my other officemate (who is not my current officemate either) wasn't talking to me is that my desk is messy and so -- since she didn't want to keep nagging me about my desk -- she chose to just not talk to me

b) I have three roommates and one of them is plyaing video games really loudly. I notice the other roommates don't talk to him. But you see, to me, not talking to him doesn't make the issue go away. I still can't concentrate when I study in my room because of all this noise. But, apparently, to my other two officemates it "did" make it go away, as evident from the fact that they aren't complaining

c) My mom doesn't avoid me -- on the contrary she is overprotective of me and she keeps nagging me to do things her way. Likewise, back when I was dating my second ex, she didn't avoid me either; but she was nagging me. So if I put side by side FEW people that nag me and MOST people that avoid me, this also seem to fall into that pattern.

So do you think thats how NT operate, that they feel like when they stop interacting with that person the problem will go away?

cyberdad wrote:
6. So I am not completely face bling. It's just takes time for me to learn faces.

6. It gets back to how patient your associates are with your delay in processing social interaction. My guess is they are typical NTs and prefer to politely ignore you rather than interact. The latter is just hard work and awkward. I guess this is a universal experience for people on the spectrum and often the primary reason I read why they don't have a lot of friends or are ignored by their peers or weird people out or get betrayed by NT people they trusted because they didn't pick up the signs that things weren't going well.


Once again, why is it a dichotomy: either interact in such a way that is up to their standards or ignore me altogether. Its like saying that if I can't get an A in the class lets just get an F because getting a C is not an option.

I mean if interacting in an awkard way is "bad" and not interacting altogether is also "bad", why are they chooosing the latter?



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10 Feb 2020, 5:36 am

QFT wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
6. It gets back to how patient your associates are with your delay in processing social interaction. My guess is they are typical NTs and prefer to politely ignore you rather than interact. The latter is just hard work and awkward. I guess this is a universal experience for people on the spectrum and often the primary reason I read why they don't have a lot of friends or are ignored by their peers or weird people out or get betrayed by NT people they trusted because they didn't pick up the signs that things weren't going well.


Once again, why is it a dichotomy: either interact in such a way that is up to their standards or ignore me altogether. Its like saying that if I can't get an A in the class lets just get an F because getting a C is not an option.

I mean if interacting in an awkard way is "bad" and not interacting altogether is also "bad", why are they chooosing the latter?


Because that's how those particular people have decided to act. They have the right to do things their way.

As for why choose one bad option over another, they choose the one that is less bad in their eyes. In most cases it's easier to not interract at all than to have interractions that you know will be awkward or otherwise unpleasant. If you want to always clear things out then that's fine to a certain point, but you have to respect the fact that other people have the right to do things differently and do things their way.

Like with the video game examble you made: it's fine to confort the guy who plays video games too loudly, but if the others are no longer bothered by it, then them not wanting to get involved is not your problem. They decided that the noise is a lesser evil to them than trying to deal with the matter and they have the right to feel so.



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10 Feb 2020, 6:18 am

Fireblossom wrote:
Like with the video game examble you made: it's fine to confort the guy who plays video games too loudly, but if the others are no longer bothered by it, then them not wanting to get involved is not your problem. They decided that the noise is a lesser evil to them than trying to deal with the matter and they have the right to feel so.


I certainly understand why it's too awkward to confront him, seeing how I wasn't confronting him either for all these months for this exact reason, but it becomes interesting if you look at it from slightly different angle in particular let's look at this. They aren't interacting with him either. Now, the question is: if they were to interact with him in general, would they feel more compelled to confront him regarding this specific issue? If yes, which of the two reason is it because of:

(i) It's more awkward to confront a stranger than a friend

(ii) a friend creating noise is more bothersome than a stranger doing it

My own first impulse would be to say (i) I mean that's the reason why I myself don't confront him. But here is how it becomes less obvious. My former officemate two years ago said that the other former officemate didn't want to become friends "in order" not to confront me about my messy desk. But (i) wouldn't explain this line of thought, only (ii) would -- hence the question. Now, would you say it's both (i) and (ii), as in, an equation of two variables? In any case, if (ii) is present at all, it means I am missing something since (ii) seems a bit paradoxical.



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10 Feb 2020, 11:45 am

QFT wrote:
Fireblossom wrote:
Like with the video game examble you made: it's fine to confort the guy who plays video games too loudly, but if the others are no longer bothered by it, then them not wanting to get involved is not your problem. They decided that the noise is a lesser evil to them than trying to deal with the matter and they have the right to feel so.


I certainly understand why it's too awkward to confront him, seeing how I wasn't confronting him either for all these months for this exact reason, but it becomes interesting if you look at it from slightly different angle in particular let's look at this. They aren't interacting with him either. Now, the question is: if they were to interact with him in general, would they feel more compelled to confront him regarding this specific issue? If yes, which of the two reason is it because of:

(i) It's more awkward to confront a stranger than a friend

(ii) a friend creating noise is more bothersome than a stranger doing it

My own first impulse would be to say (i) I mean that's the reason why I myself don't confront him. But here is how it becomes less obvious. My former officemate two years ago said that the other former officemate didn't want to become friends "in order" not to confront me about my messy desk. But (i) wouldn't explain this line of thought, only (ii) would -- hence the question. Now, would you say it's both (i) and (ii), as in, an equation of two variables? In any case, if (ii) is present at all, it means I am missing something since (ii) seems a bit paradoxical.


I don't think these two cancel each other out at all. It's indeed often more awkward to speak to a stranger than a friend, but if you talk to a friend about a problem that involves them, the friend might get mad, so mad even that you could loose that friend. So people don't want to talk about problems with strangers because they'd feel awkward, but not with people they know either because they don't want to make the relationship bad. This also applies to people who might not be friends but have to spend time together/near each other due to circumstances, like roommates or coworkers. If people have to be near each other or work together, they often let little annoyances be so that the situation won't get any worse. They might also avoid talking to the person in the fear of saying the wrong thing because that would also make things worse. In other words, people don't want to take risks. Sometimes it's smart, sometimes not.

As for your officemate, maybe he (she?) thought that if he was your friend, it'd be his responsibility to guide you to follow proper manners and rules, yet he didn't want to do that for one reason or the other. Just basing this on experience here; when I see my friends messing something up, I feel the need to correct them because, in my opinion, friends are supposed to help each other out. Of course, I try not to meddle with their business too much, which might also have been something your officemate was worried about. As in, if he was your friend then would helping you to keep proper order mean invading your privacy too much.



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13 Feb 2020, 6:50 pm

Fireblossom wrote:
I don't think these two cancel each other out at all. It's indeed often more awkward to speak to a stranger than a friend, but if you talk to a friend about a problem that involves them, the friend might get mad, so mad even that you could loose that friend.


Both of it makes sense. But I guess I was asking it in the context of trying to understand why people don't talk to me.

If I try to take apart the response of my past officemate, it seems along the lines of "not pointing things out to a stranger" -- as in, people strategically keep me in a stranger category so that they don't have to point things out to me; but it doesn't make a lot of sense as I explained earlier.

But now that you offered the other alternative, that they don't want to point things out to a friend, could it be that they "do" want to be able to point things out to me in some indefinite future (in case it gets much worse or something) so they are choosing not to be my friend, just to keep that option open?

Fireblossom wrote:
They might also avoid talking to the person in the fear of saying the wrong thing because that would also make things worse. In other words, people don't want to take risks. Sometimes it's smart, sometimes not.


As far as "fear of saying the wrong thing" are you referring to

a) I come across as overly sensitive so they are afraid that they would talk to me in the same way that they talk to everyone yet I would be offended since I am more sensitive than most people

Or

b) I give them a reason to tell me things they normally wouldn't have to tell (such as asking me to clean the table). They "chose" not to say it -- but they can't trust themselves that they wouldn't say it -- so in order not to say it they just decided to stop talking to me altogether

Fireblossom wrote:
As for your officemate, maybe he (she?) thought that if he was your friend, it'd be his responsibility to guide you to follow proper manners and rules, yet he didn't want to do that for one reason or the other.


Thats what I thought about it as well, but this is an interesting concept. It means that

a) If you choose to be someone's friend and then not fulfill all your "responsibilities" as a friend, you would hurt them somehow

b) If you decide not to be that person's friend altogether you won't hurt them

To me it seems like a contradiction. I am certainly more hurt by "b" than by "a". I mean, "a" is something, "b" is nothing. Something is better than nothing as far as I am concerned. I don't see why others don't see it that way.



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14 Feb 2020, 1:22 am

QFT wrote:
6. It gets back to how patient your associates are with your delay in processing social interaction. My guess is they are typical NTs and prefer to politely ignore you rather than interact. The latter is just hard work and awkward. I guess this is a universal experience for people on the spectrum and often the primary reason I read why they don't have a lot of friends or are ignored by their peers or weird people out or get betrayed by NT people they trusted because they didn't pick up the signs that things weren't going well.

Once again, why is it a dichotomy: either interact in such a way that is up to their standards or ignore me altogether. Its like saying that if I can't get an A in the class lets just get an F because getting a C is not an option.
I mean if interacting in an awkard way is "bad" and not interacting altogether is also "bad", why are they chooosing the latter?


Oh NTs are the masters of ghosting and selectively ignoring people they don't want to interact with. They take special delight in completely ignoring a person who is hard up to network with them or be friends. You have to virtually grovel.

I think it's like looking for a job in some way. When you have a permanent job and put in an expression of interest then other employers will be keen on you. It's the same with NT people, if you are socially active and have plenty of friends you naturally attract both males and females from the NT species.

But being a loner is like if you are unemployed...for some reason NTs think you are not an alpha or go-getter so they aren't so interested. Somebody who has been unemployed for a while seems to naturally send a red flag to potential employers. Likewise a person with no friends sends similar red flags to NTs who don't want to be seen with a "Loser".



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14 Feb 2020, 8:03 am

cyberdad wrote:
QFT wrote:
6. It gets back to how patient your associates are with your delay in processing social interaction. My guess is they are typical NTs and prefer to politely ignore you rather than interact. The latter is just hard work and awkward. I guess this is a universal experience for people on the spectrum and often the primary reason I read why they don't have a lot of friends or are ignored by their peers or weird people out or get betrayed by NT people they trusted because they didn't pick up the signs that things weren't going well.

Once again, why is it a dichotomy: either interact in such a way that is up to their standards or ignore me altogether. Its like saying that if I can't get an A in the class lets just get an F because getting a C is not an option.
I mean if interacting in an awkard way is "bad" and not interacting altogether is also "bad", why are they chooosing the latter?


Oh NTs are the masters of ghosting and selectively ignoring people they don't want to interact with. They take special delight in completely ignoring a person who is hard up to network with them or be friends. You have to virtually grovel.

I think it's like looking for a job in some way. When you have a permanent job and put in an expression of interest then other employers will be keen on you. It's the same with NT people, if you are socially active and have plenty of friends you naturally attract both males and females from the NT species.

But being a loner is like if you are unemployed...for some reason NTs think you are not an alpha or go-getter so they aren't so interested. Somebody who has been unemployed for a while seems to naturally send a red flag to potential employers. Likewise a person with no friends sends similar red flags to NTs who don't want to be seen with a "Loser".


Well, in case of a job there is logic: they have limitted number of openings (due to limitted money) so they want to hire someone they are sure of -- which they can only judge by pady job experience. In case of social interaction, on the other hand, there is no logic besides character assassination. As you said, they don't want to "be seen with the loser" (your words not mine). So how am I supposed to feel about it? That is, in fact, the number one reason I am obsessing about both friendship and dating: I don't want to be labeled a loser.

Now, to continue with the job analogy. As you know I am in grad school and sometimes Graf students are TA (teaching assistant) and sometimes RA (research assistant). Now I had bad history teaching (in previous schools I raised my voice at students when they didn't understand certain things, at the current school I almost lost my grades twice) so they are making me either research assistant or a grader more often than teaching. However, the current associate chair of graduate students decided to make me teaching assistant because I "need teaching experience". So even though this semester I don't teach only grade she had me teaching last semester and she also wants me to teach next semester too.

Now the question is: you see how she is going out of her way to have me teach because I need teaching experience for future jobs? Well, why don't anyone go out of their way to be friends with me so that I am not seen as a loser? Being seen as a loser is far bigger character assassination than not having a teaching experience. So why doesn't anyone help me out in this regard?



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14 Feb 2020, 3:06 pm

QFT wrote:
Fireblossom wrote:
I don't think these two cancel each other out at all. It's indeed often more awkward to speak to a stranger than a friend, but if you talk to a friend about a problem that involves them, the friend might get mad, so mad even that you could loose that friend.


Both of it makes sense. But I guess I was asking it in the context of trying to understand why people don't talk to me.

If I try to take apart the response of my past officemate, it seems along the lines of "not pointing things out to a stranger" -- as in, people strategically keep me in a stranger category so that they don't have to point things out to me; but it doesn't make a lot of sense as I explained earlier.

But now that you offered the other alternative, that they don't want to point things out to a friend, could it be that they "do" want to be able to point things out to me in some indefinite future (in case it gets much worse or something) so they are choosing not to be my friend, just to keep that option open?

Fireblossom wrote:
They might also avoid talking to the person in the fear of saying the wrong thing because that would also make things worse. In other words, people don't want to take risks. Sometimes it's smart, sometimes not.


As far as "fear of saying the wrong thing" are you referring to

a) I come across as overly sensitive so they are afraid that they would talk to me in the same way that they talk to everyone yet I would be offended since I am more sensitive than most people

Or

b) I give them a reason to tell me things they normally wouldn't have to tell (such as asking me to clean the table). They "chose" not to say it -- but they can't trust themselves that they wouldn't say it -- so in order not to say it they just decided to stop talking to me altogether

Fireblossom wrote:
As for your officemate, maybe he (she?) thought that if he was your friend, it'd be his responsibility to guide you to follow proper manners and rules, yet he didn't want to do that for one reason or the other.


Thats what I thought about it as well, but this is an interesting concept. It means that

a) If you choose to be someone's friend and then not fulfill all your "responsibilities" as a friend, you would hurt them somehow

b) If you decide not to be that person's friend altogether you won't hurt them

To me it seems like a contradiction. I am certainly more hurt by "b" than by "a". I mean, "a" is something, "b" is nothing. Something is better than nothing as far as I am concerned. I don't see why others don't see it that way.


Yes, that could be it.

Probably depends on the case. In the case of some people, it could be both of these... and since it's you, I'd add option C: They might be afraid that you'd start demanding long explanations and get aggressive, so to avoid that they don't want to talk to you.

But who says it's about not hurting the other person? If you feel like your responsibility is to help someone and you fail, then you'll feel quilty for that failure. In other words, you get hurt. But if you never put yourself in a situation where you should help the other (in this case it means not becoming someone's friend), then you won't end up in a situation where you'll feel quilty and so won't get hurt. In other words, these people aren't thinking about what could hurt you, they think of what could hurt them and act accordingly.



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14 Feb 2020, 3:22 pm

cyberdad wrote:
But being a loner is like if you are unemployed...for some reason NTs think you are not an alpha or go-getter so they aren't so interested. Somebody who has been unemployed for a while seems to naturally send a red flag to potential employers. Likewise a person with no friends sends similar red flags to NTs who don't want to be seen with a "Loser".


In some cases yes, but in lots of cases I'd say it comes down to social skills. If someone has enough social skills to make 10 friends, it's likely those same skills will help them to make an 11th as well. But if someone's anything but socially skilled and hasn't gotten a friend, it's unlikely they will get one any time soon until something about them or their circumstances change, like they learn some social skills, start to move in completely different circles than before etc.

Quote:
Now the question is: you see how she is going out of her way to have me teach because I need teaching experience for future jobs? Well, why don't anyone go out of their way to be friends with me so that I am not seen as a loser? Being seen as a loser is far bigger character assassination than not having a teaching experience. So why doesn't anyone help me out in this regard?


Isn't making sure that you get the needed experience part of her job? Or have I misunderstood something? If it's indeed part of her job, then that's the difference. She has an obligation to you, but most people don't. Also, why would anyone go out of their way to be friends with you? Seriously, why? Even if they genuinly just wanted to help someone, why should it be you? What do you do for strangers or the people around you? If nothing, why expect that they would do something for you? Also, how could they know that you're that desperate?



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14 Feb 2020, 4:30 pm

Fireblossom wrote:
But who says it's about not hurting the other person? If you feel like your responsibility is to help someone and you fail, then you'll feel quilty for that failure. In other words, you get hurt. But if you never put yourself in a situation where you should help the other (in this case it means not becoming someone's friend), then you won't end up in a situation where you'll feel quilty and so won't get hurt. In other words, these people aren't thinking about what could hurt you, they think of what could hurt them and act accordingly.


I guess I never thought of friendship as a responsibility. If I were friends with someone I wouldn't feel "responsible" for helping them. Or is this something I am missing -- which could be part of the reason people don't want to be friends with me?

Fireblossom wrote:
Isn't making sure that you get the needed experience part of her job? Or have I misunderstood something? If it's indeed part of her job, then that's the difference.


Yes and no. Her job is to make the "best decisions" regarding who does what. There are multiple factors that go into the decision making. Making sure I get teaching experience is just one of them. The other factor is what is best for the students I teach. And yet the other factor is if one person teaches then who will do those other things? Etc.

In any case, if I look at the previous schools I been to, as well as the previous associate chair in this school, it appears like this woman and her husband are the only ones concerned about me getting a teaching experience. Nobody else was concerned as much since nobody else was offering me to teach (with an exception of Fall 2001 -- yes, almost 20 years ago -- when I blew it).



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14 Feb 2020, 5:17 pm

QFT wrote:
[ However, the current associate chair of graduate students decided to make me teaching assistant because I "need teaching experience". So even though this semester I don't teach only grade she had me teaching last semester and she also wants me to teach next semester too.

Now the question is: you see how she is going out of her way to have me teach because I need teaching experience for future jobs? Well, why don't anyone go out of their way to be friends with me so that I am not seen as a loser? Being seen as a loser is far bigger character assassination than not having a teaching experience. So why doesn't anyone help me out in this regard?


There's a simple answer to your question. Your associate chair has a duty of care built into her role to ensure that graduate students obtain sufficient experience in both research (RA) and teaching (TA) before going on to further studies. A PhD is only a stepping stone to postdoctoral positions where the postdoc needs to be tested further with teaching and research roles including nurturing undergrads, supervising higher degree students, winning scholarships and grants and publishing papers. I know that in the US and Europe these are what's required before obtaining tenure as an academic. So being asked to teach (despite your earlier experiences) is part of your development and training. I would take this to mean your associate cares about your development.

The fact your colleagues don't make the same effort to include you in their social network is because they don't have to. Being friends is a voluntary step and it sounds like (based on what you have told me) your colleagues see no advantage in making that personal effort. Collegiality is somewhat overrated nowadays. In Hollywood movies scientists seem to naturally develop rapport with each other based on common research interests. This may have been the case back in the 1950s and 1960s but today In the real world the environment is highly competitive and my suspicion is many STEM related fields are attracting people who are not actually intellectually curious but rather see a career in science as a way to become upwardly socially mobile. Heck I saw this back in the 1980s when I worked in research that most of my colleagues learned what they needed to obtain milestones but privately couldn't care less about the field they were in or in being collegial with their fellow researchers unless it served their personal agendas. Not surprisingly university research teams are made up like minded social butterflies who read what they have to and spend the rest of their time networking with successful people.

So this might be an opportunity for you to put your head down and work to winning grants and publishing papers. You will find your own academic success will eventually attract your colleagues. Currently you are in the same boat with them and they don't see any benefit either in their own career development or friendship/networks to spend time with you. If I would you I would focus on your own career and eventually move around (don't stagnate in the same place).



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14 Feb 2020, 5:24 pm

Fireblossom wrote:
In some cases yes, but in lots of cases I'd say it comes down to social skills. If someone has enough social skills to make 10 friends, it's likely those same skills will help them to make an 11th as well. But if someone's anything but socially skilled and hasn't gotten a friend, it's unlikely they will get one any time soon until something about them or their circumstances change, like they learn some social skills, start to move in completely different circles than before etc.



But of course you need skills to have 10 friends or to get a job in the first place. But that's precisely why I used the analogy. A person who is capable of holding down a job is like a person who is capable of having 10 friends. They hold the same attraction whether it be a prospective employer or friend. I tells the employer this person is both experienced and capable. It tells the potential friend this person might be stimulating/interesting to be around.